The aluminum lunchbox with the matching thermos was not just a way to bring your food to school. It was not just another item to forget on the bus. It was way to tell people what you were all about. What kind of music you liked, your favorite TV show, what you wanted to be when you grew up, the lunchbox was an extension of your identity. Lucky for us, there were so many to choose from, that any one we picked was COOL!
In 1954, a Sudbury, Ontario miner named Leo May accidentally crushed his tin lunch box. This prompted him to invent the aluminum lunchbox.
In 1935, Geuder, Paeschke and Frey produced the first licensed character lunch box, Mickey Mouse. It was a lithographed oval tin, with a pull-out tray inside. It had no vacuum bottle(thermos) but did have a handle.
Aladdin Industries created the first children's lunchbox based on a television show. The Hopalong Cassidy lunch kit or "Hoppy" quickly became Aladdin’s cash cow. Debuting in time for back-to-school 1950, it sold 600,000 units in its first year alone, each at a modest $2.39 USD.
With the boom of television, more and more lunch boxes were being produced featuring kids' favorite TV , film, and radio stars. Most lunchbox art remained true to the licensed property's original form. But sometimes, characters were presented in other settings that had nothing to do with the TV show. Whether they got it right or wrong, one thing was for certain. The art on the lunch boxes was always bright, colorful, and TOP NOTCH
From the 1950s to the late 1980's, lunch boxes were made from aluminum. Manufacturers switched to plastic for two reasons. 1) kids would sometimes use the lunchbox as a weapon on the playground and 2) it was cheaper to produce. But with the jump to plastic, some of the magic and charm that made lunch boxes fun was lost. Soon lunch boxes themselves became lost as well.
In the early 2000's lunch boxes had a slow but steady revival. Now you can find a good selection of new lunch boxes featuring your favorite modern shows.
But what happen to the older ones? Well, some rare ones are worth big money! So check around your house and see what you have! For now, let's take a look at some classic ones!
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